Monday, March 24, 2008

A Christian blog for the season.

Well why not, it is Easter after all.

However if I were to start a Christian blog there are many who would find it as offensive as the curebies find my stance on Autism.

One always has to chose a line to stand on, as Luther did.

By denomination I am a Baptist, and that no doubt already sends shivers down the spine of liberal Episcopalians and new age Universalists, but it also puts me beyond the pale of the equally 'heretic' established Churches, who are getting ready to submit me to the blogosphere's equivalent of 'auto da fe' no doubt. (see below)

That is the problem when you believe there is only one way, you tend to be exclusive.

Jesus of course was not exclusive, except in the sense that he asked people to follow him and not some pharasaical sect. (and who can say for sure which our denominations are the new pharisees)

In following Jesus that puts me at odds with many folk including some of the original Apostles, who let's face it were not beyond criticism, and Paul was the biggest self confessed sinner of them all.

Why do I believe in my particular brand of Christianity?

  • That is because I was convinced by Bible study that the way to demonstrate ones faith is through the testimony of adult baptism, as Jesus himself underwent.

Why I do I believe Jesus is the Christ and my saviour?

That is for two reasons:

  • Firstly the word, the message, logos, call it what you will. The message of love, and peace and forgiveness, a forgiveness that is a free gift we have not earned, for which Jesus paid the price.
  • Secondly because of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and I am not going to get into arguments of Filioque, let the Greek and Roman Churches sort that one out for themselves.
What did Jesus mean when he said, whoever has seen me has seen the Father (John 14 )?

  • If you look at me or my brother and listen to the way we speak, you have in a way seen oury genetic father, for we both bear his mannerisms either inherited or learnt. If you follow Jesus you have seen the heavenly father for I do believe that the message he delivered in his stay on earth was so powerful, so universal, so appropriate for all time that it can only have come from our Heavenly Father the maker of everything we are and exist amongst.

So was there room for Dinosaurs on the Ark?

  • Don't ask me that one, I wasn't around at the time, you might just as well worry about trees falling silently in the forests of Berkeley (I like the notion of there being forests in Berkeley even if it may not be literally true, Californians please advise)

How do I square the idea of an immortal soul with my scientific belief in embodied cognition?
  • H'mm I suppose I shall have to incline toward bodily resurrection and conjuring tricks with bones then :)
Is it equally contradictory to hold post modernist ideas and then hold to Biblical truth?
  • Well actually it is post modernism that allows me to privilege the religious gaze over the scientific one if that works for me.

What I am anyway, is not yet decided, until I have been everything that I can be. My soul has to be the sum of everything which applies - not an equation in which only three dimensions apply.

I am not sure whether I shall allow comments on this blog, being as religion and faith are such personal things for this much is certainty. In the opinions of some I will be a hell bound infidel, and to others a delusional crazy, whose migraine auras have got the better of him.

It's something I can't force on anybody, you make your choice as I make mine, the same choice Adam had with the apple, take it or leave it.

Here endeth the sermon, you can see why they don't have me preaching in the pulpit at my home Church now can't you :)

and now for something completely different ...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The NAS is recruiting

I make no apologies for cutting and pasting this ad from the NAS site wholesale. I have only edited the style of one paragraph in order that it will stand out more clearly. If you read the para I have highlighted, you will see what makes the NAS so different from ASA, Autism speaks or the Autism society of Canada.

This is a job with great opportunities for one of us to do something about autism, where it matters, so here goes .....

Policy and Parliamentary Officer (Equality and financial security)

  • Salary: £26,289 - £30,730
  • Based in London

The National Autistic Society is the UKs leading charity for people affected by autism. Our ambition is to end the isolation of over two million people in the UK whose lives are touched by autism.

Working as part of a growing and dynamic team, you will lead on influencing government policy and legislation in the fields of employment, benefits, human rights and justice to promote the interests of people living with autism.

For an information pack please contact the Recruitment Team on 020 7903 3572 or email stating in which format you would like to receive your pack electronically or via post. Alternatively, download a job description and application form below.

Applications are sought from all suitably qualified sections of the community but particularly welcome from those with a diagnosis of autism or Asperger syndrome.

Closing date for applications: Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Interview date: Thursday, 3 April 2008

Committed to Equal Opportunities & Investors in People.
Registered Charity No. 269425.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The legacy of War

This afternoon on returning from Birmingham to Coventry I found our entire City Centre cordoned off by the police, traffic diverted and rumours of bombs.

Now this is not a unique experience, it has happened before but on getting home I discovered the bomb had nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden at all but Adolf Hitler.

It is such a strange coincidence that I must report it, because tonight the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry (yes it is named after that Belgrade) was premiering a play about the Coventry Blitz

The premiere was cancelled because not 100 yards away in a building site associated with the Theatre redevelopment, a 1000 pound World War Two bomb turned up, and that is enough explosive to warrant cordoning off a considerable area.

It's hard to think of my parents surviving these things being dropped regularly on the City, my dad was rendered homeless by one of them.

The relics of war last a long time, and I doubt if this is the last bomb that will turn up. We need to consider the amount of ordinance that is still being expended around the world and realise just how long into the future that legacy is going to last.

Monday, March 10, 2008

End of an Era

I took my landie to have the chassis inspected today, and as I suspected, the cost of comprehensively repairing it in order to meet the annual vehicle test would be uneconomic for me and it would be cheaper for me to replace the landie altogether.

Well whether I can even afford to replace it at the moment, is a moot point too, I think the money would be better invested in my studies right now. So it seems I shall have to part with the landie, and hope I can find someone who will be able to make use of the parts.

Once I started back at Uni, I suppose this was inevitable, that the conflict of expenses would come and I need to be realistic.

I had to get rid of my previous car for similar reasons in order to pay the fees for the first autism course I took at Birmingham Uni.

So here is some footage, it's all nostalgia now - gone avec les neiges d'antan :(

Friday, March 07, 2008

Words and enthusiasms

Sometimes it can be a real effort to write a paper, like the one I am still preparing that was originally intended for IMFAR (though it has since been rejected)

That is a real doozy of a paper which has to be meticulously referenced and well argued in scientific and sociological terms.

It is unfortunate I will not get to present it after all, but I guess it does not present in itself any new research on autism (which is what IMFAR wants) and so does not make the grade.

I do think though that it is saying important things that every autism scientist and social researcher should be listening to, but even if do I ever get round to submitting it to a journal instead, it has no greater likelihood of reaching it's intended audience.

I still live in hope of being able to presentit at the Disability Studies Association's conference instead, but it's not been accepted there either yet.

It's not a paper I am writing for the love of it, but out of necessity to get an important point across somehow, and it is tough work.

On the other hand, kudos to me, I am also working on another paper, for which I am being paid at the official lecturer rates for Birmingham University.

So far, because I am talking on a subject close to my heart, autistic politics and culture, it is almost writing itself, and the difficulty will be there to keep it within the timespan and subject limits of what I have been asked for.

Trouble is that being paid for it, raises all manner of questions, and I have had to go to the benefits people to ask permission to do this as therapeutic work.

It is therapeutic all right in that nothing lifts my self esteem so much as being paid for doing something like this. Everything else I have ever presented, I have ended up paying for one way or another, with accommodation, conference fees and all.

Being paid for once is a good start and a foot in the door at least.

Monday, March 03, 2008

But do I exist?

The Autist looked into the myriad fragments
Of the shattered mirror to find himself
He did not see any autism
For he was not there.

Discusss .....